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It seems like Apple has removed the last trace of any bitcoin related app from its iTunes Store. According to reports, Apple has removed the Blockchain app, the last remaining application in its mobile store that offers services related to bitcoins, thus highlighting the continued uncertainty surrounding the virtual currency.
U.K.-based Blockchain took up the issue on its official website stating that Apple had told it the application, which is basically a wallet-like app that can be used to store and send bitcoins, was removed due to an "unresolved issue." However, the company also said that it had received no prior warning of any problem pertaining to the Blockchain app.
"On Wednesday February 5th, Apple attempted to strike a devastating blow to the bitcoin ecosystem on iOS by removing 'Blockchain', the last remaining bitcoin wallet app, from the App Store," the company wrote in protest of the steps taken by Apple.
"Offering no explanation and no opportunity to address any issues, without any apparent change in circumstances other than the growing popularity of the independent and competitive payment system, Apple has eradicated their payment competition on iOS and left the bitcoin space entirely to competing mobile OSs like Google's Android," it added.
Blockchain, naturally, was not amused by the steps taken by the Cupertino-based tech giant and stated that these actions taken by Apple yet again demonstrated its "anti-competitive and capricious nature" that are also linked to the App Store. It also added that all these policies were focused on "preserving Apple's monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users."
As of now, although iOS still offers a handful of other bitcoin-related mobile applications, such as market share tickers, that can be downloaded from the App Store, none of them have the ability to transfer bitcoins.
While it is to be seen now what Apple's retaliation will be, for the sake of comparison, Google does not stop developers from creating bitcoin wallets for its Android mobile platform. And if this Bitcoin-related issue becomes even more intense in the coming months, Apple could witness a mass exodus of users wanting to make use of the service and looking to adopt Android as their primary OS.